People across Iran are celebrating Sizdah Bedar, the ancient festival of nature, on the last day of Nowruz holidays, with many leaving their houses and spending time outdoors in the fresh spring air before getting back to work and their regular routine after the holidays.
Sizdah Bedar, also called Nature’s Day, marks the 13th day of Farvardin, the first month of the Iranian calendar, and the final day of the two-week Persian New Year holidays, which began on March 21.
Iranians and millions of people across the globe glorify the spring by celebrating Nowruz, the Persian New Year.
On this day, which has fallen on April 2 this year, it is customary for Iranians to head out to parks or countryside on picnics.
According to popular belief, the 13th day of the month is a time when bad luck and unfortunate events could happen.
Among the traditions of Sidzah Bedar, which literally means 13 outdoors, is throwing Sabzeh — a patch of grown sprouts kept as an item on the Haft-Seen table during Nowruz holidays — into a stream, river or where water flows.
Haft-Seen table is a tabletop arrangement of seven items alliteratively beginning with the letter “Seen” in the Persian Alphabet, which sounds similar to “S.”
It is a traditional belief that the sprouts on the Haft-Seen collect all the negative things in the household, and throwing them away on Sizdah Bedar represents getting rid of the negativity and evil.
Another tradition is for single people, especially young girls, to tie the leaves of the greenery before discarding it, expressing a wish to get married in the year ahead.
Sizdah Bedar is also known as Nature’s Day in Iran.
Since ancient times, Iranians have been fond of nature and its beauties. In recent years, however, there has been an extra emphasis on making efforts to preserve nature on this day by planting trees and cleaning up the waste disposed of irresponsibly in the natural environment.